Performing Arts

Content type

Birth of Tunisian actress, writer, and filmmaker Haydée Samama Chikly Tamzali

August 23, 1906

Haydée Chikly Tamzali was a Tunisian-Jewish actress, writer, and filmmaker who played an essential role in the development of Arabic and African cinema.  

Merle Feld

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Merle Feld on July 19, 2000, in Northampton, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Feld recounts her upbringing in Brooklyn, her involvement in the Jewish community, her work in facilitating Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, and the profound impact of her activism on her life and career as a writer and public figure.

Jean Carroll

Born Sadie Zeigman, Jean Carroll was the first Jewish woman stand-up comedian. Famous throughout the United States and England in the 1950s and 1960s, she innovated a new style of anecdotal, conversational stand-up.

Arielle Beth Klein performance.

Writing a One-Woman Show Re-Connected Me with My Jewish Heritage

Arielle Beth Klein

Writing a play about being a bad Jew helped me become a better one. 

Kate Bornstein

Kate Bornstein is a pathbreaking transgender lesbian activist, theorist, and performance artist. She is known for tackling social ills and personal pain with joyful optimism.

Hester Martinez

Hester Rose Martínez Nardea is a Mexican dancer, teacher, choreographer, director, promoter, and administrator. She is currently the director of the International Festival of Extremadura Dance-Contemporary Language and is the founding director of WIROMA Circle Dances.

Cecilia Baram

Cecilia Baram is one of the few Jewish women who became a professional dancer in Mexico between the 1950s and the 1980s. She lives in Mexico City, where she had a brilliant career in nationalist modern dance performing with government-sponsored companies, as well in contemporary dance performing with independent companies.

Stock Photo of Microphone

How I Became a Slam Poet

Ruby Russell

Maybe we can shatter some glass ceilings if we shout loud enough. 

Sneaker with butterflies on it

Butterflies and What They Mean to Me

Lila Zinner

I love butterflies because, to me, butterflies represent freedom and bliss.

Sophie Tucker Portrait

Sophie Tucker: All About That Bass

Eliza Bayroff

Sophie Tucker was a heavyweight performer—in every sense of the word. Right up to her death in 1966 at age 82, Tucker, the so-called “Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” took her act worldwide, combining her singing talents and bawdy humor into a legendary act that would manage to survive the demise of vaudeville and the dawn of the television age—all while remaining determinedly and definitively plus-sized.

Catching up with Vanessa Hidary, the Hebrew Mamita

Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez

Baruch Atah Adonai
Viva Puerto Rico Ha'olam
Hahmotzee , Fight The Power
Me'en Haaretz

The Burlesque Poetess: A Jewess with "Artitude"

Leah Berkenwald

Jojo Lazar is a Boston-based multimedia visual and performance artist with a dizzying portfolio of projects. She puts her MFA in Poetry and love of vaudeville to work performing as “The Burlesque Poetess.” She plays the ukulele in the steam-crunk band, “Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys,” and with Meff in “The Tiny Instrument Revue” and in “WHY ARE THOSE GIRLS SO LOUD it’s ‘cos we’re jewish,” with fellow Jewish writer/performer Amy Macabre.

Anna Solomon

Celebrating "The Little Bride" with readings and song

Ellen K. Rothman

Anyone who knows me would have been surprised to see me walking down Mass Ave in Cambridge the other night and into a hip club on the edge of the M.I.T.campus. What was I doing there?

A night to honor Hannah Block

November 8, 1997

North Carolinians came together on November 8, 1997, to honor one the state’s civic leaders and pathbreaking women.

Shari Lewis

Shari Lewis won twelve Emmy awards for her children’s programming, which featured puppets on variety shows and children’s shows. She had several TV shows, including the Shari Lewis Show and Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, and earned some of the industry’s highest honors, including a Peabody Award.

Artists: Israeli, 1970 to 2000

The inclusion of feminism in Israeli art was seen as irrelevant in the 1970s, when Israel was seen as a state of gender equality. But in the following decades, amid vast changes in Israeli society, women worked hard to make themselves seen and have their stories told in the wider world of Israeli art.

From Tekhines to Tap Dance

Jordan Namerow

Ever seen women with headscarves doing Vaudeville? Last week's Forward featured an article about Atara, an association of Torah observant artists whose new mission is to bring Orthodox female artists and performers together to nurture their creative expression -- be it through theatre, music, art, spoken word, etc. -- within a halachic framework. 


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